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Pesto-Presto Italian Flag Chicken

Serves 4

Try serving these stuffed chicken breasts with Garlic and Cheese Orzo alongside.


  • 5-6 leaves basil
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves (about a handful)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 block soft garlic and herb cheese, such as Boursin brand
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about 2 handfuls), divided
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450ºF.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, parsley, pine nuts, soft cheese, 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano Reggiano (about a handful) and some salt and pepper. Process into a smooth paste. Reserve.
  3. Butterfly each of the chicken breasts and pound them out lightly in a plastic bag with a dash of water using a skillet or meat mallet. Season both sides of the chicken and divide the herb-cheese mixture between the four breasts, placing a scoop on one half of each breast. Fold the flap of chicken over to enclose the cheese mixture.
  4. Transfer the chicken pockets to a baking sheet and lay three slices of tomato over each breast, overlapping them like shingles. Season with some salt and pepper, drizzle with about 2 tablespoons EVOO and sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about a handful).
  5. Bake the chicken pockets until cooked through and light golden brown, 20-25 minutes.